HTC Incredible vs Nexus One: multi-touch

Android and Me reported earlier this year of the major touch screen problems that affected the Nexus One. Google’s flagship phone seemed to have severe hardware issues which prevented it from accurately sensing multiple touches across the same axis. The following video demonstrates the problem:

As the Motorola Droid didn’t exhibit the same problems, Google Engineer Dianne Hackborn went on the record to state that the problem originates from the different touch sensors that manufacturers use in their phones:

“Sorry I meant exactly what I said: this is how the touch screen hardware on the Nexus One works (which is essentially the same screen as on the G1 and myTouch). The Droid has a sensor from a different manufacturer, with different behavior. Other phones will likewise have different sensors.”

Android and Me has now revealed that the Nexus One uses a Synaptics ClearPad 2000 sensor. The sensor was actually never developed to be used for multi-touch use and works as advertised when it was made available in 2007.

In contrast, the new HTC Incredible uses a brand new Atmel maxTouch sensor which was not only designed for multi-touch use, but offers superior performance, accuracy, and power consumption. Atmel states that their touchscreen offers the following over the competition: 

  • Unlimited touches
  • Low power consumption
  • Fast response — completely redraws screen every 4/1000 of a second (4ms) to eliminate recalibration issues
  • Excellent signal-to-noise ratio for superior precision — 3x better than competitive products
  • Superior performance for first-touch response — 3x better than competitive products
  • Unambiguous, unlimited touch support
  • Responsive user interface: > 250 Hz report rate for a single touch
  • Extremely low current consumption: < 1.8 mW in "touch-ready" state
  • Two touch adjacency of less than 10 mm on a 4.3" touchscreen
  • Small footprint with few external components
  • Supports stylus, fingernails, and gloves
  • Grip and face suppression functionality: avoids false touches
  • Size and angle of touch supported
  • Screen sizes up to 10.2" are supported by a single chip
  • Proximity channel support

Android Central has made a video to show how the new Incredible and its touch sensor fares against the Nexus One. The results speak for themselves: 

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